In December 2019, the ThriveNorth program successfully completed its five-year mandate. Managed by Futurpreneur Canada, the program helped young entrepreneurs in Northern B.C. launch and grow their businesses by connecting them with resources, financing and mentorship.
When news spread about Aaron’s photography work when he was just a student, he developed a working relationship with the Calgary Hitmen, a major junior hockey club where he became the official photographer. From this business relationship, Aaron gained work with the Calgary Flames and their alumni, as well as corporate clients such as the Royal Bank, the Royal Canadian Mint and several others, including non-profit organizations.
Aaron is originally from Calgary, where he studied photojournalism and communications, but was drawn to Northern British Columbia by an opportunity with a heli-ski operation. Aaron took a position with the company as a Director of Customer Service and Communications, and after two years, he set off to launch his own photography business, Red Bike Media in Terrace, BC.
Red Bike Media provides photography and video services to corporate and business clients, and Aaron’s original business, Aaron Whitfield Photography, works under the Red Bike Media umbrella offering wedding and portrait services. Most of Aaron’s clients find him through his website and word-of-mouth, but having contracts with the heli-skiing company, Northern Escape Heli-skiing, and taking photos with Santa during the holidays at the Skeena Mall, are helpful ways to keep Aaron’s business moving. “Always keep your eyes and ears open to new opportunities,” Aaron explained in regards to finding new clients. “Be honest about what you offer and under promise and over deliver.”
Aaron was an applicant for the ThriveNorth Business Challenge last year, which gave him the opportunity to meet other inspiring young entrepreneurs, and network with business leaders in the region. Since he was involved in the Business Challenge, Aaron has been an active member of the ThriveNorth community attending business planning workshops, and Action Entrepreneurship events in Vancouver and Toronto in 2015—all of which has helped him grow and develop his skills as an entrepreneur in Northern BC.
One piece of advice from Aaron to other entrepreneurs, whether current or aspiring is: “Follow your dreams, work hard and persevere.”
You can learn more about Aaron and his business here.
Written By: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Creation Coordinator, Futurpreneur Canada